Today, on DNA retention, the government must balance several factors. First, there's the scientific evidence, which is still sparse.And will be ignored if you choose to do so for political purposes, as Professor Nutt will tell everyone who wants to listen…
The most recent research supports the case for the retention of DNA profiles of those arrested but not convicted.And it’s linked to in this article so we can all judge for oursel….
Oh, my mistake. It isn’t. We just have to take Postman Pat’s word for it.
. I reject the claim by the Human Genetics Commission yesterday that large numbers of people are being arrested simply to collect their DNA. There is no substantive evidence to suggest this is so.Best you lay of the ‘substantive evidence’ line, Pat. We have all seen through that one…
No one can have their DNA taken unless arrested for a recordable offence.And the list of recordable offences has grown massively under the auspices of….which political party, again?
As the Association of Chief Police Officers has said, arresting someone is a major step, never taken lightly.Oh, really?
It is unlikely that Mark Dixie, the murderer of Sally Anne Bowman, would ever have been found had his DNA profile not been recorded following his involvement in a pub brawl, after which he had been released without charge.You mean, you’ve no faith in the police to track people down without this overarching database? Better sack them all then, Pat…
Take also the case of Abdul Azad, arrested for violent disorder in Birmingham in February 2005. He had a DNA sample taken and was released without charge. In July 2005, a stranger rape occurred in Stafford, 25 miles away. DNA evidence was found to match Azad's. The senior officer said he would otherwise never have been caught.Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he? Far easier just to tap a key and find the suspect rather than do all that tedious detecting…
It has also helped protect the innocent. Sean Hodgson, who was wrongfully convicted of murdering and raping Teresa de Simone in 1982, would probably not have been cleared without DNA analysis showing he was not the killer.Err, what? How would having his DNA on a database prevent this?
Under proposals soon to be considered by parliament, the DNA profiles of all those convicted of crimes – irrespective of the offence – will continue to be held indefinitely.The ECHR can go take a flying one, can they, Pat?
The bill will also give police the power to take samples from those convicted of serious violent and sexual offences in the past, before DNA was routinely taken…So, it’s retroactive as well? Fantastic. How long before we are routinely tagged and numbered at birth like livestock?
It seems there is all-party consensus on these two measures.Except in the next paragraph you state:
The Guardian has joined the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in arguing for the Scottish system of three years' retention…Some ‘consensus’…
The Scottish model is said to be a success, but by whose standards, and by what evidence?By the standards of the ECHR, which measured the English system against it, and found it wanting. That good enough for you?
This is a classic home secretary dilemma.Pity we don’t have a classic home secretary then, isn’t it? Sadly, we are stuck with you.
For the time being, anyway…
It is not a clear-cut choice between liberty and security – between siding with the civil liberties lobby or the forces of law and order.Yes. It is, actually.
The far less headline-friendly reality…Ah, here we have it. NuLabour’s policy is driven by the tabloids.
… is the need to balance all these factors – protecting the public, but in a way that's proportionate to the threat.You have as much idea about what is ‘propotionate’ as the cop in that linked story.
But ok, then. Let’s see all MPs and their families go first, eh?
I believe that the government's proposals do precisely that but I also welcome the debate as a necessary part of implementing such sensitive measures.Typical NuLab. You welcome a debate, but you’ll ignore it.
We can’t get rid of this shower fast enough for me.